By Seán Creedon
Nissan came up with a winner a few years back when they produced their Qashqai which every other car company unashamedly tried to copy. It was so popular it became known as a ‘Cash-Cow’ for Nissan.
Then ten years ago Nissan produced what looked like a smaller, but funkier version of the Qashqai with the Juke. It was voted Irish Continental Car of the Year for 2011.
Now we have a second version of the Juke. Nissan has toned down the sharply-raked sloping looks, but the car is now larger than the first version.
It’s 75mm longer and 30mm taller and the wheelbase has been stretched by 105mm. Small figures yes, but they do make a difference, especially for leg and knee room for back seat passengers. There is also a 20% increase in boot space.
At first glance you would think it’s a four-door car, as the handles for the rear doors are very discreet.
So apart from those eye-catching looks, is the car much the same size as other compact crossovers?
“The Juke has never followed the crowd. Instead it leads the way, with its big personality,” said James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland at launch.
I suppose that’s it in a nutshell, big personality. You will either love or hate the Juke when you see first see it. But take a test drive and I think you will be impressed with the high driving position.
I liked the dash, especially after a few weeks where most of the controls in my test cars were touch-screen. It was good to have old-fashioned knobs to adjust the radio controls. I drove the top of the range N-Design which had everything except running water!
My test car was white with a touch of black around the arches for an attractive look. Inside black is the dominant colour and I think the roof could have done with a lighter colour to lift the decor.
Colours to suit
However, there are 20 colour combinations available for body, roof and interior, so you should be able to get a colour that suits you.
The car is now only available as a 1.0-litre petrol, manual or automatic. I drove an automatic version, which also had paddles at the side of the steering wheel if I wanted more power.
The Juke is different from most small cars on the roads of Ireland. It’s neat, but the high driving position and funky looking lights at the front and rear, make it a fun car to look at and to drive.
An improved ProPilot system is available; it semi-autonomously keeps the car in lane and maintains a safe distance from other vehicles. The boot has two levels and the good news is that there is a ‘mini’ spare wheel under the second level.
Prices start at €21,995 for the XE version and naturally the more goodies you want, the price will rise. My top of the range N-Design version will cost you €26,950.
We are told that up to now the Juke has been popular with young people and older couples, who may be downsizing.
In ten years Nissan has sold 1.5 million units of the Juke, approximately 10,000 in Ireland. As the country gets back to normal I think we will see even more Irish people getting acquainted with this funky-looking Juke.